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Summary

  1. Brent oil price rises above $60
  2. German growth exceeds expectations
  3. Rolls-Royce profit drops after defence spending cuts

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    That's it for the first week of the extended Business live page - we hoped you liked it. It is a work in progress so we appreciate feedback. Come back next week, we start on Monday at 06:00.

  2. Fudge + hummus

    World Service

    "Be wary - we'll be seeing huge amount of euro fudge mixed with some Greek hummus," says Justin Urquhart-Stewart from Seven Investment Management, about negotiations over Greek debt. He thinks the fudge will be to make Greek debt undated. So the debt will not be written off, but Greece will never have to pay it back. "It's brilliant," says Mr Urquhart-Stewart.

  3. Turbulent Nigeria

    World Service

    Lagos

    It's been a week of turbulence for Nigeria. The nation's currency, the Naira, fell through 200 to the dollar after the presidential election was postponed. The BBC's Lerato Mbele in Lagos says that Nigerians are most concerned about jobs, as 11 million Nigerians are unemployed. Meanwhile the business community is closely watching the price of oil, she says.

  4. Via Twitter

    Cake

    George Magnus

    Economist

    Cake

    In York, tea and cake at infamous Betty's. But not this cake. Yours for a mere £695. Mmmm....

  5. Stronger pound

    Pound vs. dollar

    The pound has had its third week in a row of gains against the dollar. Thursday was the big day, when the pound surged by 1% following the latest inflation report from the Bank of England. Governor Mark Carney said the market had been right to bring forward its expectations of when interest rates would begin to rise. The pound finished the week just below $1.54.

  6. HSBC tax scandal

    Douglas Flint, HSBC chairman (left), Stuart Gulliver, HSBC chief executive (right)

    The news agency Reuters has seen an email sent to staff by HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver (above right). "I share your frustration that the media focus on historical events makes it harder for people to see the efforts we have made to put things right," he says in the memo. HSBC chairman Douglas Flint (above left) will appear before a panel of MPs on 25 February to answer questions over the tax avoidance scandal at HSBC's Swiss bank.

  7. Cricket World Cup

    World Service

    Cricket

    The Cricket World Cup is expected to generate profits of more than $200m. But is the money threatening to become more important than the sport? Phil Mercer investigates for Business Daily.

  8. Europe's costliest oil field

    Statoil image

    Norway's Statoil has decided to go ahead with Europe's most expensive offshore oil project. It will invest $29bn to exploit the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea. Statoil believes the project will be profitable even if oil is at $40 a barrel. Once the initial investment has been made, the oil will cost $5 a barrel to produce, it says.

  9. Via Email

    Digital death

    John Dick

    Live page reader

    So does it matter if all our digital files are eventually lost? Live page reader John Dick emails: "Yes, it will matter if we lose all these images, especially photographs of family and friends. I am currently researching my family tree and photographs are a very powerful way to see the past and its impact. Something needs to be done, surely it wouldn't be too difficult to write converters to move the data to current file structures before they go obsolete."

  10. Greek shares

    Greek shares

    Greek shares have ended a volatile week (see above) with a big win. The main index closed 5% higher on Friday. Banking shares were the biggest winners. Optimism has risen this week that the new Greek government can reach a deal with its international creditors over debt and austerity measures. If those talks fail then confidence in Greek banks could crumble. On Monday eurozone finance ministers are likely to discuss the situation at a meeting in Brussels.

  11. Aer Lingus takeover

    Aer Lingus plane

    Aer Lingus is talking up the benefits of a takeover proposal from British Airways owner, IAG. In a statement today it said: "The Board's view is that a combination of Aer Lingus with IAG has a compelling strategic rationale and will deliver significant benefits for Aer Lingus, its employees, its customers and for Ireland." IAG is offering £1bn for the Irish carrier.

  12. German shares

    Dax

    The main index for German shares, the Dax, breached 11 thousand points for the first time. Investors were encouraged by strong growth figures for the German economy and progress over the tricky political issues of Greece and Ukraine. Banks were the big winners with Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank both up more than 2.5%.

  13. Market update

    Traders, New York Stock Exchange

    US shares are a bit higher in the early going. The Dow Industrials is up 16 points and the S&P 500 is up 2 points. Caterpillar is the early winner among Dow stocks, up 1.1%. But American Express is adding to Thursday's losses, down 2.25%. Fashion retailer Abercrombie and Fitch is down 1% after its shares were downgraded by researchers at Credit Suisse.

  14. Greek negotiations

    BBC News Channel

    BBC reporter, Mark Lowen in Athens

    "Greeks like their government to be standing up to Brussels and Berlin," says the BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens. But they also want to stay in the euro. So Mark tells the News Channel that they probably want the new Greek government to push as far as they can to get a new deal over debt and austerity.

  15. Via Twitter

    Rory Cellan-Jones

    Technology correspondent

    Raised eyebrows at BT over Virgin claim that it's making largest broadband investment in a decade - "we're already investing more than £3bn"

  16. Via Twitter

    Joe Lynam

    BBC Business Reporter

    Angela Merkel's itinery

    You thought you had a busy week? This was Angela Merkel's travel itinerary

  17. Post update

    Howard Mustoe

    Business reporter

    That's it for the early coverage, readers. We hand over to Ben Morris who will take you into the evening. Until next time.

  18. Via Email

    Rob Young

    Business reporter, BBC World Service

    On Virgin's broadband expansion, Antony Walker, deputy chief executive of Tech UK (industry body) has told me on 5 Live: "The technology sector is going to be creating more jobs in the UK by 2020 than any other part of the economy." "The UK tech sector does have one of the biggest skills gaps in Europe... So there's a lot of work that needs to be done by industry and government to address that," he added.

  19. Digital death

    Floppy disk drive

    Vint Cerf, a Google vice-president and a "father of the internet", is worried. Trillions of images and documents we have been saving on computers all these years will eventually be lost as hardware and software become obsolete, he frets. He has a point - have you tried finding a PC with a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive lately - let alone a 5.25 inch?! Then again, will it really matter if most of this stuff is lost forever? Give us your thoughts at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

  20. Via Twitter

    Anne McElvoy

    Public policy editor, The Economist

    Who gains and loses in politics from the HSBC fallout? We're exploring in a moment on The World at One @BBCRadio4

  21. Virgin broadband plans

    Radio 5 live

    On Virgin's broadband expansion, Antony Walker, deputy CEO of Tech UK, an industry body, has told presenter Rob Young on 5 Live: "A broad range of jobs will be created - computing skills, electronics, construction, back office staff"

  22. Via Blog

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    America terms itself the land of opportunity where anyone can have a house with a white picket fence and a good job. However, that dream is getting harder to reach for many Americans - while the rich continue to get richer as median wages continue to stagnate.

  23. Diamond sale

    diamond

    A "perfect'' 100-carat diamond will be auctioned in New York in April, where it is expected to fetch between $19m and $25m. The diamond was mined in southern Africa within the last 10 years and weighed more than 200 carats before it was cut and polished, Sotheby's said.

  24. Dilbert

    Today's and yesterday's Dilbert cartoons serve as an excellent reminder of the power of anchoring during negotiations. And they're rather funny. Remember this when you recommend the Business Live page to at least 50 of your friends.

  25. Greek bounce

    chart

    The Athens stock market rose 5% to a two-month high today and Greek borrowing costs fell as the country is seen to be nearing a deal with its international creditors. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras is set to meet Greece's lenders to discuss a way out of its bailout and a deal could be agreed at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday.

  26. New stretch Merc

    pullman

    Daimler will reveal a new version of the Mercedes-Benz Pullman at next month's Geneva motor show, Reuters reports. The original gained notoriety due to its popularity with dictators, including the likes of Uganda's Idi Amin, Romania's Nicolae Ceaucescu, and Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito. The 2002 model is pictured above.

  27. China crackdown

    Chinese couple

    China's internet regulator has announced it will target fraud on the country's dating websites and other online matchmaking sites, reports BBC Beijing correspondent Martin Patience. The regulator said it would target "fraudulent companies" and "prostitution rings" that were fleecing customers. It also stated those using dating websites must register their real names.

  28. Ghost Tesco stores

    Building

    After years of expansion, Tesco has announced plans to close shops across the UK. How do people's day-to-day lives change when their local grocery store shuts its doors? The BBC's Jon Kelly finds out.

  29. Via Twitter

    Joe Lynam

    BBC Business Reporter

    Aldi and Lidl now account for over 10% of UK grocery sales. Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda all losing mkt share

  30. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    Italy is the eurozone's Japan, stuck in recession - & France doesn't look much healthier. Recovery in Spain by contrast looks proper

  31. Via Twitter

    Aaron Heslehurst

    Presenter, World Business Report

    #Love is in the office air apparently. New survey shows 64% of managers don't mind workplace romances. 1/4 of office romances end in marriage

  32. Ports dispute

    Long Beach port

    A strike has severely disrupted imports and exports at 29 ports on the west coast of the United States. The pay dispute has forced 14 ships to anchor off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (pictured), while another 11 were awaiting berths off Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents terminal operators and shipping lines, blames the crisis on workers they say have staged go-slows since November. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said companies were exaggerating the extent of congestion so they can pressure unions negotiators into striking an agreement.

  33. Balls on bonuses

    cash

    The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has said a future Labour government would strengthen the rules on the repayment of bonuses by bankers who are guilty of wrongdoing. Mr Balls said bonuses stretching back a decade should be relinquished - instead of the seven-year limit currently recommended by the Bank of England.

  34. Construction falls

    House being built

    Construction output fell more than first thought in the last three months of 2014 after the number of new homes being built dropped for the first time in almost two years, Office of National Statistics figures showed today. Total construction output sank by 2.1% compared with the previous quarter - worse than the 1.8% fall expected. The volume of new home construction fell 0.2% after rising by 6.1% in the third quarter of 2014 - the first decline since the first three months of 2013.

  35. Newspaper review

    paper review

    The Times predicts "boom time" for families. It says a projected doubling of average pay rises to 3.5% will help people "feel richer this year than they have for more than a decade as spending power soars". The Guardian has more HSBC customer revelations. The FT discusses central bank plans to curb deflation and the Telegraph quotes Bank of England governor Mark Carney advising consumers on inflation: "Enjoy it while it lasts... for this will go away over the course of the next year."

  36. Steel yourself

    ArcelorMittal steel plant

    ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, issued a profit warning today, saying that its 2015 forecast for profit before interest payments and tax would be between $6.5bn (£4.2bn) and $7bn - considerably below market expectations of $7.4bn. The company made a profit of $7.2bn last year.

  37. Via Twitter

    Gavin Hewitt

    Europe editor

    Italian Fin Min Padoan says 'the risk of Greece outside Europe and in the orbit of Russia is moving further away.' #Greece

  38. Via Blog

    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor

    He came across as credible, assured and clear in what he is trying to achieve. Nothing less than a "battle against secrecy". And now Herve Falciani has revealed that far from this week being the end of the story, there is still plenty of information that is likely to come out about HSBC. More from Kamal in his blog on the BBC News website.

  39. Via Twitter

    Gavin Hewitt

    Europe editor

    Greek stocks up 7%, buoyed up by optimism that a new bailout deal is possible #Greece

  40. 'Playing catch-up'

    Dan Howdle, editor-in-chief of telecoms advice site Cable.co.uk, has this to say about Virgin's announcement: "The money is unlikely to result in fast broadband for those who live in rural or difficult-to-reach communities. Rather, Virgin Media is playing catch-up to BT's Openreach network and as such will likely roll things out profit-end-first."

  41. Via Twitter

    Gavin Hewitt

    Europe editor

    Alexis Tsipras

    Merkel on her meeting with new Greek PM Tsipras. 'More than willing to work with him. A very friendly encounter' #Greece

  42. Rolls-Royce profits

    Rolls-Royce engine

    Rolls-Royce, like a number of international companies, favours "underlying profit", which it says gives a better understanding of how well engine sales and profits have been doing. Reported profit, following the accounting rules of the day, includes swings in the value of the group's currency hedges, which move with the market and can be very volatile. A weakening of the pound during 2014 sent reported pretax profit down 96% to just £67m, while the underlying figure was a healthier £1.6bn.

  43. Interest rates

    BBC Radio 4

    Richard Hunter of stockbrokers Hargreaves Lansdown has been on Today, talking about interest rates after yesterday's inflation report. When will rates go up? "September 2016 had been the consensus but we are probably looking at late 2016 or even 2017," he says. Sir Jon, still in the studio, says: "The key point is when they do go up it will be gentle and they won't go up to the sorts of levels we saw in previous years."

  44. Via Twitter

    Duncan Weldon

    BBC Newsnight

    German growth at 0.7% on the quarter, well ahead of consensus of 0.3%. That should push up eurozone growth to above the expected 0.2%.

  45. Rolls-Royce earnings

    In a master class on how to be vague, Rolls-Royce also has this to say: "Cost performance will continue to be a major focus, and as we rationalise and transform the Group, we have targeted a 20% reduction in our footprint and a doubling of our lower-cost country sourcing by 2020. We are now accelerating progress towards these targets." Does that mean more job cuts at the firm, which already plans to lose 2,600 roles?

  46. Via Twitter

    Mark Broad

    BBC business producer

    Kamal

    Somewhere under there is @BBCKamal broadcasting for @BBCr4Today on #HSBCLeaks after interview with Herve Falciani

  47. German GDP

    Reichstag

    Germany - the eurozone's largest economy - expanded by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The result boosted growth for the year as a whole to a robust 1.6% - better than a previous official estimate of 1.5%.

  48. Rolls-Royce earnings

    Rolls Royce engine

    Rolls-Royce, the jet engine maker, said annual profits excluding currency hedging fell 8% to £1.6bn. "2014 has been a mixed year during which underlying revenue fell for the first time in a decade, reflecting reduced spending by our defence customers, macroeconomic uncertainty, and falling commodity prices," said chief executive John Rishton.

  49. Via Twitter

    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    Trinity Mirror raises provision to settle phone-hacking by £8 million to £12 million.

  50. Virgin investment

    Virgin Media is announcing a big new investment in broadband worth £3bn that the company claims will create 6,000 jobs. Virgin has a network that already covers half of the country - about 13m homes - which will rise to 17m homes.

  51. French GDP

    Paris

    France recorded lukewarm economic growth of just 0.1% in the three months to December, its statistics agency said today. The figure, which was in line with expectations, meant that the eurozone's second-largest economy expanded by a mere 0.4% for the whole of 2014. In contrast, Britain's economy expanded by 2.6% last year.

  52. HSBC tax scandal

    BBC Radio 4

    The Bank of England's Sir Jon Cunliffe was asked about HSBC on Today. Should a bank chief know about what is going on in a foreign subsidiary, like its Swiss bank? "We'd expect management and leadership of a large group to be able to ensure there's the culture and operations within that group to manage those sorts of risks," he says. The Bank helps regulate the banks from a stability point of view, and Sir Jon adds: "This is certainly something that could be of relevance to us."

  53. Via Twitter

    Simon Jack

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    Sir John Cunliffe says that more QE possible if Bank proves to be overoptimistic about avoiding deflation.

  54. Via Twitter

    Simon Jack

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    Dep Gov of Bank of England says chief exec of a bank like HSBC should know what's going on in its foreign subsidiaries.

  55. Falling prices

    Radio 5 live

    "There are lots of things out there that we [the Bank of England officials] don't control," Sir Jon says, including the rise and fall of oil and food prices. But he says overall the reduction in prices is a good thing for the British economy and consumers.

  56. Rate cut?

    Radio 5 live

    The softly-spoken Bank of England official Sir Jon Cunliffe has been on Wake up to Money. "At the moment we are not seeing the conditions where we would reduce interest rates," he tells the programme, after governor Mark Carney warned yesterday that UK prices would continue to fall.

  57. Merkel's warning

    Merkel

    The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has threatened Russia with more EU sanctions if it fails to observe a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. She was speaking after briefing EU leaders on the agreement at a summit in Brussels. Mrs Merkel and President Hollande of France reached the deal with the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine yesterday, after marathon talks in the Belarus capital, Minsk.

  58. Post update

    Chris Johnston

    Business reporter

    Good morning - and welcome to the last working day of the week. Do give us your views on the day's happenings in the world of business and finance at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter at @BBCBusiness

  59. Post update

    Joe Miller

    Business Reporter

    Good morning. There were signs of progress last night in the crisis over Greece's bailout programme. Both Angela Merkel and the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, spoke positively about the chances of resolving disagreements. We'll bring you all the latest on that story, and the rest of the business news.